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Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake

September 4, 2019

Fill those cool, crisp fall weekend mornings with the smell of fresh gluten free apple cinnamon coffee cake!

Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake

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Summer good-byes

It is always so hard to pull those hoodies out for the first time after a summer filled with sandy toes, tank tops, and beachy glows, but thankfully Michigan is really good at easing us into the thought of fall. We’ll dance between 50 and 70 degrees until November, and that is perfectly fine with me. The beach will still call our name for at least the next month, and we’ll answer with more beach hikes and rock hounding in hoodies versus swimming and water play!

Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake
Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake

New fall beginnings

The thought of fall has me longing for apple all the things, so instead of focusing on the changing weather and fading sun, I decided to bring you a new apple recipe, in hopes of filling your fall weekends with a fun new breakfast idea for those cool crisp mornings. My kids were perfectly giddy when I brought home the first bag of apples they’d seen since late winter, and we set to work right away coming up with a fun apple themed coffee cake this year!

Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Perfect coffee cake texture – easy peasy technique!

So I wouldn’t go as far as to say that this is an easy weekday school morning breakfast (though if you prep it into the pan the night before it could work!), but I will promise you that this recipe is not as fussy as the beautiful presentation makes it seem, and you will be blown away by the soft texture and warm sweetness, of course making it the perfect accompaniment to your Saturday coffee or Sunday brunch cup of tea.

Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake
Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake

The method

It is worth taking the time to make the 2 separate layers to a coffee cake if you are wanting to have the pretty swirl of cinnamon-y sweetness running here and there throughout your coffee cake. It makes a dreamy presentation when cut, and the flavor is out of this world. Start with making the cinnamon sugar pecan topping with crushed pecans. The buttery pecans balance out the warm sweetness of the coconut sugar and molasses – absolute heaven. You’ll spread a layer of the honey sweetened cake batter into your pan and then sprinkle apples and the pecan sugar topping. Layer another spread of the cake batter and sugar sprinkled apples on the top and then the magic happens! Gently swipe and swirl through the batter with a butter knife and you’ll have a coffee cake straight out of your favorite bakery!

Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake
Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Notes and swaps

  • You can swap the pecans for walnuts or almonds. If you are nut free, I think pumpkin seeds would be nice, or you can leave them out all together.
  • Not only do I love the warmth of coconut sugar, I love that it is lower on the glycemic index. If you don’t have it around, or you don’t have access to it, you could use turbinado, rapdura, or organic cane sugar. I think maple sugar would be lovely too.
  • If you can’t have eggs, I do think this recipe would work with 2 “flax eggs” – it may not puff up as much but it will still bind and taste great.
  • I think this coffee cake would also be lovely with some firm but ripe pears.
Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake
Print Recipe
5 from 10 votes

Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake





  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and butter or coconut oil an 8×8 baking dish.
  • Make the pecan topping by using a fork to mix the topping ingredients in a bowl. Set this aside.
  • Blend the yogurt, coconut oil, eggs, honey, and almond extract in a medium mixing bowl until smooth and creamy.
  • Add the flours, baking powder, and salt, and blend until just combined.
  • Spread half of the coffee cake batter into your greased baking dish. Sprinkle half of the apples, gently press them down, and then sprinkle half of the pecan topping over the apples. Spread the other half of the batter over the apples, then put the other half of the apples and pecan topping on the batter. Use a butter knife to make swirls throughout the coffee cake.
  • Bake the coffee cake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Check your coffee cake around the 35 minute mark in case our ovens run differently – dark pans cook faster too. Let it cool 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake

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  • Reply Olivia September 6, 2019 at 4:38 pm

    I love this recipe but here in Aussie we can’t get the GF flour blend you suggest. What would be an alternative mixture of GF flours I could use to make this.
    Thanks liv 💚

    • Reply Renee Kohley September 12, 2019 at 9:03 am

      Hi Olivia! I would try whatever GF flour blend you have there. If you blend does not have xanthan gum, I would add some!

  • Reply Daniela September 9, 2019 at 1:51 pm

    5 stars
    I’m genuinely drooling right now! This recipe is pretty much the bomb!!

  • Reply Megan Stevens September 9, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    5 stars
    Oh Renee, that pecan swirl filling and topping looks so good, plus the moist crumb of this cake. Lovely for fall to ease the transition from summer! I’m having a hard time saying goodbye to all the good sun, but baked goods like this sure help.

  • Reply Jean Choi September 10, 2019 at 1:04 pm

    5 stars
    So moist and perfect! Also, that pecan topping is divine.

  • Reply ChihYu September 10, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    5 stars
    What a divine coffee cake! The apples, cinnamon and the beautiful topping are magnificent!

  • Reply Joni Gomes September 10, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    5 stars
    I couldn’t wait for the real fall to being to make this coffee cake! Was a winner with my family, thank you!

  • Reply 15 Delicious Gluten-Free Rosh Hashanah Desserts September 11, 2019 at 10:00 pm

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  • Reply Cheryl Malik September 12, 2019 at 12:10 pm

    5 stars
    Oh, wow. This is such a beautiful dessert. I can already imagine the amazing aromas.

  • Reply Zuzana September 13, 2019 at 11:24 am

    5 stars
    This one is just perfect for a fall season. Can you use any type of apples?

  • Reply heather September 13, 2019 at 11:28 am

    5 stars
    Gorgeous photos, and the recipe is making me hungry!!! I’ll bring the coffee next time you make this 😉

  • Reply STACEY CRAWFORD September 13, 2019 at 11:37 am

    5 stars
    Wow, this would be gone so fast at my house! We all adore coffee cake and the apples and that crumble are to die for!

  • Reply jen September 14, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    5 stars
    That recipe looks so homey and inviting . . . perfect to make for breakfasts and snacking this fall!

  • Reply Alyssa September 22, 2019 at 3:04 pm

    I made this last night for breakfast this morning and it was amazing!! I used pears instead of the apples, krusteaz gf flour blend, and almond flour instead of the pecans (I didn’t have any). Turned out great and I will be making it again!

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  • Reply Mindy Benkert September 30, 2019 at 11:53 am

    I can almost smell this through the screen! Looks amazing!

  • Reply ARiana October 1, 2019 at 7:42 am

    This sounds so delicious, and so perfectly fall! It still feels like summer in Spain, but when the weather cools, I can’t wait to make this!

  • Reply Courtney Cooper March 23, 2020 at 5:21 pm

    Do you think I could make this with applesauce (instant pot homemade last fall) instead of apples? Trying to find a recipe to use up some of my chunky applesauce

    • Reply Renee Kohley March 25, 2020 at 10:39 am

      Hi Courtney! I think so! I’m not sure how much I would use – not a ton because it will be too wet, but I think this will work!

  • Reply Megan Needham February 19, 2021 at 3:58 pm

    I have made this twice now, first time exactly as recipe stated and it was so yummy! Just this week I made it again and we just found out that my daughter has an egg sensitivity. So I used Bob’s Red Mill Egg replacers and the batter seemed too thick so I added a little bit of applesauce too! Came out perfect! I also did half almond extract and half vanilla (personal preference) and my apples were bad so I just left those out this time! Thank you for another great recipe Renee!

  • Reply Holly Hoffman Minutaglio September 12, 2021 at 9:24 pm

    Could I swap the Gf flour blend for cassava to make it grain free?

    • Reply Renee Kohley September 13, 2021 at 2:07 pm

      Hi Holly! I’m sure you could, but will having to play around with the ratios and amounts some. Cassava flour and GF Flour blends absorb liquid differently and behave in baking differently so you will need to adjust for that!

  • Reply Haley K November 13, 2021 at 8:49 pm

    Can all purpose einkorn be used in place of gf flour in the same amount ?

    • Reply Renee Kohley November 14, 2021 at 8:05 pm

      Hi Haley! I haven’t worked with Einkorn a lot since we can’t have wheat, so I’m really not sure – I do know that it will absorb differently, so you might have to play around with it a little!

  • Reply Eva December 20, 2022 at 9:16 am

    I made this over the weekend and it was so amazing! It has the best texture and flavor and I’ll be adding this to my recipes to make often!
    I used butter, full fat yogurt (fage) and bobs red mill 1-1 gluten free flour and it came out perfect. It was so perfect with coffee and I have a feeling my son and husband will be requesting this often!!!

    • Reply Renee Kohley January 3, 2023 at 12:54 pm

      Hi Eva! Glad to here the Bob’s works great too! I’m glad you enjoyed it!

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